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Smoking Toddler's Mother Seeks Help for Him

KC Kelly Ph.D.'s picture

The chain smoking Indonesian two year old child named Ardi, who lives in the small fishing village of Musi Banyuasin where 25% of children already tried smoking and 3.2% are active smokers, is attempting to quit his habit of smoking. His father gave him his first cigarette at 18-months-old and now Ardi's mother is trying to get her son to quit.

Smoking, so common in third world countries such as Indonesia, is an extremely dangerous epidemic. The communities as well as the parents there do not seem to understand the unhealthy affects that smoking has on not only themselves, but on the health of their children who they allow and encourage to smoke. Prove of the attraction of smoking in Indonesia appeared when Ardi was turned into an instant celebrity when a video of him on brightly-colored toy truck inhaling deeply and happily blowing smoke rings showed up on YouTube. Knowing from the news that Ardi was attempting to quit smoking a man taunted him by blowing cigarette smoke in his face.

Seto Mulyadi, chairman of Indonesia's National Commission for Child Protection, stated, "Smoking has been a part of our culture for so long it isn't perceived as being hazardous, as causing illness, as poisonous. A lot of adults who are around children will smoke. They will carry a baby in one hand and a cigarette in another. Even mothers don't understand that they are poisoning their children."

It seems; however, that Ardi's mother, Diana, 26 is doing what she can to stop Ardi's habit, although she is confused and doesn't really know what to do. During an interview with Mulyadi in Jakarta, where Diana brought Ardi for help, Ardi was squirming and crying in his mother's arms due to nicotine withdrawal. Diana admitted that her son was an addict. She stated, "He's crying because he wants a cigarette." She even showed a scar on Aldi's head, where he smashed it into a wall during one of his tantrums. Diana also shared that Ardi vomits when he can't satisfy his addiction.

Mulyadi assessed Ardi as "a bright boy, quicker than most children his age and a victim of his environment." Although Diana is attempting to get Ardi to stop his smoking habit, her motives were disappointing.

According to Mulyadi, the parent's motivation to get Aldi to quit smoking wasn't because of an understanding of the harmful consequences of smoking, especially for a growing child. Instead, the motivation came from the advantage of saving four dollars a day for the average of 40 cigarettes that Ardi smoked. Diana cut the interview short as on-lookers watched. She said she was tired, look uncomfortable and took Ardi away as he waved his chubby arm good-bye to the crowd who was watching.

Mulyadi shared, "For us, it's not shocking at all, but it's very, very sad. What we know about this phenomenon [cigarette smoking] is only the tip of the iceberg. We are fighting to remind the country that we really need to protect our children."

Written by Dr. Kc Kelly, Ph.D.


Submitted by Prakash Arumugam, MD (not verified) on
Dear Dr. Kc Kelly, This is a clear sign of child abuse - apart from grave cardiovascular risks at such a tender age and it can severely damage the child's mental health or social development, leaving deep and long lasting psychological scars... :( I wish it was just a hoax ...

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